Apple and Aetna reportedly met in secrecy last week to discuss the prospect of giving all customers of the massive health insurance provider one of the tech conglomerate’s smart watches.
The relatively exclusive meeting occurred in California, and was led by Apple’s Myoung Cha, who’s official title is “Special Projects, Health,” according to CNBC, which cites three unidentified people privy to the meeting. Officials from major hospitals around the country were also in attendance.
Aetna already offers the Apple Watch to its thousands of employees in what is called a corporate wellness program, but now it wants to extend the technology to the roughly 23 million people it insures. Aetna would supply its clients with discounted or free smart watches, CNBC reports. (RELATED: UK Gov’t Bans Apple Watches During Meetings Due To Fear Over Russian Hacking)
Apple Watch, like a lot of wearable technologies, is advertised for its fitness-tracking and health-monitoring capabilities. Fitbit, the eponymous company that sells activity trackers with wireless capabilities, has been selling its products not just for personal use, but for wide-scale institutional utilization. A Fitbit representative told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Fitbit’s technology is being used in more than 200 clinical research studies at prestigious places such as Johns Hopkins University, Mayo Clinic, and University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, just to name a few.
Apple Watch, though, recently overtook Fitbit’s hold on the top spot in wearables, CNBC reports. Fitbit device shipments in the first quarter of 2016 fell 35 percent from the year before, while Apple’s distribution of its product increased by 1.3 million to a total of 3.5 million. The growing divide between Apple and Fitbit’s numbers may become more sharply defined if Apple comes to an agreement with Aetna.
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